We'll start with Kyle Lonnigan in Welcome Home, the first full-length novel in my Pike's Run series.
I wrote a stubborn, passionate, family-oriented guy who sticks to his guns and cares so much about those he loves, he almost loses the woman of his heart. There's a lot of emotion and tension in Welcome Home, created by Kyle's heartache.
He has to learn how to come through the grief of losing his father. And of course, he has no idea what he really needs until Emma shows up.
Two years prior, she was the woman he'd fallen head over boots for, but then she tells a lie that rips him apart.
I enjoyed revealing Kyle's layers and getting him back to the trickster, happy fellow he was before his father's death. I really didn't realize what I was getting into when I wrote Kyle, because his anger was truly formidable.
Thankfully, Emma turned out to be pretty stubborn herself. She refuses to give up on him and confronts his fury with all the love she has for him.
Kyle is my first hero. I wrote and wrote and wrote until I learned who he was. And what I found was a fiercely loyal gentleman who would do anything for those he loves. I'm proud of him, even though there were moments where I wanted to punch him.
Emma really should've punched him, but for some reason I can't explain, she didn't. Maybe because she knew his fury hid a lot of pain?
Kyle made my heart go pitter patter, especially when he finally gets down on one knee. I was in tears by then. His longing and need for Emma made the pages in Welcome Home turn, and I wanted so much for him to forgive and let go.
I'm happy to say he's had an appearance or, at the very least, a mention in each book in my series. Kyle and Emma started it all, and I'm pleased with their performance.
Here's an excerpt for you:
Cool air brushed over Kyle as he stood outside and away from the dancing. When Emma had walked in, the barn had suddenly become too confining and he had to get out. He lost count of how many reels he’d missed as he leaned against the outside wall of the barn. All he could think about was her and the way she looked with her lavender dress, soft hair, vibrant eyes, dazzling smile…
She was femininity in all its glory. Kyle closed his eyes and recalled the last time he’d seen her as beautiful as she was tonight. Her dress had been much fancier, much more expensive.
Her hair had been more elaborately styled, and her eyes had been full of desperation…need. A need for him. A need for his love.
That night, all of society had been at her father’s house, drinking, dancing and showing off their money. But it had been just the two of them outside, standing in the moonlight, the scent of roses wafting around them. His hands had been at her waist, while hers were wound around the back of his neck.
He still felt her, even after two years.